Oman well placed to tackle oil price fluctuations, says PDO managing director
May 14, 2017 | 8:34 PM
by Syed Haitham Hasan / [email protected]
PDO which published strong annual results for 2016 that exceeded expenditure cuts of $1.6 billion, has further planned to cut $1.5 billion in expenditures in 2017. Photo-File

Muscat: Oman will be able to absorb any fluctuations in oil prices due to efficiencies and reduced costs, a top official from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)told Times of Oman during an interview.

“We don’t know where the oil prices will go, but we can handle it, wherever it goes,” Raoul Restucci, Managing Director of PDO, said.

His comments come only a week after PDO published strong annual results for 2016 that exceeded expenditure cuts of $1.6 billion, deliberated in 2015 in light of the dwindling prices of oil. PDO has further planned to cut $1.5 billion in expenditures in 2017.

“We had a very strong 2016. Not many company directors will say that, after two to three years of difficult prices; we did more, but as MD of PDO, I can say we did more in terms of job creation, optimisation and well entries. We are stronger and can take on any price of oil due to efficiencies,” he added.

Oil prices have settled at sub-$50 per barrel levels, as of last week, after fresh concerns over high crude oil inventories in the world, and low demand. Exploration activities in many oil and gas countries have been subdued due to fewer incentives in developing new fields; however, Oman has continued most of its planned exploration activities.

“Our focus remains on near field exploration, which is near our existing infrastructure. Last year, production that was hooked from exploration wells paid for all our exploration activities.

“This means that we covered, within the same year of operation, all our exploration expenditures. The reason for this is our approach, where we get subsurface information before we install major infrastructure. This lets us optimise our processes,” he explained.

PDO’s annual sustainability report says that the company has “identified 46 opportunities for incremental development that could yield in excess of 700 million barrels of recoverable reserves.”

According to Restucci, other than core oil and gas related activities, PDO will focus on capital efficiencies and value creation, especially in aiding Tanfeedh related initiatives. “We would also like to be more self-reliant in terms of finance,” he added.

Commenting on the future of PDO, Restucci mentioned that although main operations of the company would remain oil and gas, they would plan more ventures into renewables, value creation and consultancy services.

“We are an oil and gas company and will continue to be for a long time. However, we are looking forward to more projects in renewables and provide the expertise we have gained over the years in internal operations, such as efficiency and value creation to others. This will be PDO’s objective, apart from delivering oil and gas,” he affirmed.

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